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Osprey Men-at-Arms 251 : Medieval Chinese Armies 1260-1520

Unlike previous invaders of China, the Mongols did not remain confined to the north. Just as China had changed, so had the once-backward horse warriors. Led by a succession of able rulers, equipped with siege technology acquired from their settled neighbours, and underpinned by the resources of an empire stretching as far as the Black Sea, they were able to contemplate the conquest of the whole of China. Most significantly, they could recruit thousands of local troops for use against their fellow-countrymen. It may seem strange that Chinese would willingly help to subject the Empire to 'barbarians', but it should be remembered that China had already been divided for generations; the people of the north were used to serving nomad masters, and the weak government of the Sung no longer commanded the 'mandate of heaven'. The period covered in this book begins with the accession in 1260 of Kubilai, grandson of Chinggis, as ruler of the Mongol Empire. Within a few years he was to gain the rest of China and lose the western parts of his realm, in effect giving China unity and independence under an alien dynasty. In 1368 the Mongol YŁan regime was replaced by a native dynasty, the Ming, which survived until its overthrow by the Manchus in 1644. At first sight the two dynasties might seem to have little in common; but in the period under discussion there was a great deal of continuity in military organisation as well as in weapons and armour, while in other ways it stands out as untypical of Chinese history. C.J. Peters discusses the history, organisation and tactics of Chinese armies from 1260-1520, accompanied by numerous illustrations and eight full page colour plates by David Sque.

    Contents
  • Introduction
  • Chronology
  • The Yuan Dynasty
  • The Yuan Army
  • The Civil Wars 1351-1368
  • The Ming Dynasty
  • The Ming Army
  • Military Technology
  • Strategy and Tactics
  • Six Significant Battles
  • The Plates

 

Osprey Men-at-Arms


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